The state of Texas is the largest of the contiguous United States buy an enormous margin, and the entire state is served by a well-developed road system. Although the geology and geography of Texas supports long roads with little maintenance, the sheer scale of the state’s highway system ensures that a substantial portion of it will be out of commission at any given time. Texas’s increasing budget woes, which have only grown worse as the population of the state explodes, means that damaged roads will stay damaged for longer and will be repaired more slowly. Fortunately, the Texas State Department of Transportation does excellent work with what they have.
A well-built and well-maintained road in Texas is one of the smoothest, safest drives anywhere in the world, so it is worth the wait. Here are some parts of Texas that are currently undergoing serious construction and road closures. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather informative and indicative to those who wish to plan a visit or a route to work. Those who live in an area affected by closures and slowdowns may choose to avoid the issue entirely by changing their plans, using the internet to accomplish a task instead of driving there, attending traffic school online, or other methods of working around the issue.
West Texas is notable for stunning vistas, an absence of vegetation, and an extremely hard geological substrate. Repairs to roads in this area are really needed and long-lasting. All the same, on-ramps and on ramps to Interstate 10 will be closed between Zaragoza and Eastlake, near El Paso, until further notice. There is also construction going on with the Fabens Bridge Project for FM 76. This road is completely closed at this time, and have been since October. They intend to be done with this project by mid-February of 2018.
East Texas is characterized by soft, silty soil deposited by the process of sedimentation. Although East Texas is not densely populated by the standards of most states, the pine forests and rolling hills are home to a substantial number of Texans. Major highway closures in this area include FM 1878 near Nacogdoches. They are in the process of rebuilding the road, and there is a detour around the affected area in both east and westbound directions. There are also closures on FM 850 until the end of March, and the accident damage done to the bridge on FM 849 will take until July to repair. Both closures are around Tyler.
North Texas lies on an enormous plateau known by the name of the Llano Estacado. This is empty and unforgiving terrain, but the highways that wend their way across these enormous plains and arroyos are noted for their durability. There are few construction closures or slowdowns in this area, and maintenance is generally excellent. However, the railroad bridge that crosses FM 145 near the small town of Farwell has been damaged, requiring the closure of the road into New Mexico and a detour on to an alternate route.
There is another major area in Texas, and it is mostly found in the triangle that stretches between Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. This is urban Texas, and area characterized by enormous population density, brutal traffic, 24-hour pressure on the roads every day of the week, and millions and millions of people waiting for full use of road. Closures and constructions in these areas are often exacerbated by these issues. For example, the famous MOPAC project in Austin has been under development for a decade.
More than a million people have moved into this town during the time that the highway was built, putting a level of pressure on the MOPAC Improvement project that was never imagined by its designers and implementers. Although they have finally completed basic construction on the stretch from Enfield Road to Parmer Lane, there are still major issues with concrete structures, maintenance on areas improperly built, and landscaping. Construction should be expected along these areas well into 2018.